Implementing an enterprise data strategy is a situation in which having all hands on deck — or the lack thereof — can make or break the outcome. After all, your company will only become data-driven if your employees embrace doing so. This hinges on getting everyone on board with your data strategy, as well as providing the training and tools analytics users need to succeed.
Here are five tips for making it happen.
- Lead by Example from the Top Down
It’s going to be difficult to convince employees to buy into your overall data strategy, let alone integrate analytics into their own workflows, if there’s a lack of conviction at the top. It’s only natural for people to look to leaders during times of change, so it’s imperative executives and managers practice what they preach here.
Leadership has the power to forge a data-driven company culture, one action at a time. Here’s how one expert recommends executives go about leading by example:
- Actively use data in everyday decision-making.
- Make decisions based on data findings and hold direct reports responsible for doing the same.
- Share insights on business performance via email, presentations and discussions.
- Incorporate relevant metrics into meetings.
- Participate in the same data skills training other employees are undergoing.
- Display key metrics on digital displays to show ownership of certain aspects of performance.
- Bring Business Users in Early
To ensure your data strategy addresses the actual needs of everyday business users, bring them in early to shape the strategy from the get-go. What questions do these users have? What data do they wish they could see? How often would they want/need to look at the data? Incorporating this invaluable perspective early will pay off in the long run when the strategy works for everyone, top to bottom.
- Make It Convenient to Access & Use Analytics
One way to measure the impact of your data strategy is to look at adoption rates, or the percentage of employees who actually utilize the tools available to them. Research firm Gartner has found that business intelligence and data analytics adoption may reach only 30 percent of employees on average — noting that ease of use ultimately impacts BI adoption.
The easier and more convenient it is for employees to access and use your analytics platform, the more likely they are to do so on a regular basis. Users have more reason to access the tools and insights readily available to them when self-service search and AI analytics are fully embeddable into their oft-used applications and portals. This also gives them less of an excuse not to do so. Powering mobile analytics for employees on the go is another convenient way to allow users to create and interact with pinboards full of important metrics on the go.
- Provide Data Literacy Training
One challenge many enterprises encounter is the traditional line of thought that data is the realm of specialized teams — distinct from the rest of the workforce. The knee-jerk reaction may be something like, “But I’ve never analyzed data on my own before!”
Data literacy training can help non-data specialists learn important terminologies and best practices pertaining to working with data and communicating their findings. As Business 2 Community notes, research from Gartner predicted half of organizations “will lack sufficient AI and data literacy skills to achieve business value” by 2020.
Effective data literacy training will help employees more confidently query data, determine which insights are relevant and develop a “common language” for communicating findings with others.
- Reward & Celebrate Data-Driven Decision Making
Looking for a simple way to encourage employees to embrace your data strategy? Openly reward those who use data to improve the quality of their decision-making. Make it part of your workplace culture to celebrate data-driven decisions leading to positive business outcomes. Follow up with stakeholders about the effects of their data-driven decision-making. Demonstrate how it’s making a tangible impact and their willingness to use data is being noted.
Trying to get your workforce on board with your data strategy?
Give them the tools, literacy training, top-down leadership and reinforcement they need to thrive.
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